Hardback
October 13, 2020
9781421438764
English
224
59082
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
0.79 Inches (US)
$27.95 USD, £20.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
October 13, 2020
9781421438771
9781421438764
English
224
59082
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
$27.95 USD, £20.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Lean Semesters

How Higher Education Reproduces Inequity

More Black women are graduating with advanced degrees than ever before. Despite the fact that their educational and professional opportunities should be expanding, highly educated Black women face strained and worsening economic, material, and labor conditions in graduate school and along their academic career trajectory. Black women are less likely to be funded as graduate students, are disproportionately hired as contingent faculty, are trained and hired within undervalued disciplines, and incur the highest levels of educational debt.

In Lean Semesters, Sekile M. Nzinga argues that the corporatized university—long celebrated as a purveyor of progress and opportunity—actually systematically indebts and disposes of Black women's bodies, their intellectual contributions, and their potential en masse. Insisting that "shifts" in higher education must recognize such unjust dynamics as intrinsic, not tangential, to the operation of the neoliberal university, Nzinga draws on candid interviews with thirty-one Black women at various stages of their academic careers. Their richly varied experiences reveal why underrepresented women of color are so vulnerable to the compounded forms of exploitation and inequity within the late capitalist terrain of this once-revered social institution.

Amplifying the voices of promising and prophetic Black academic women by mapping the impact of the current of higher education on their lives, the book's collective testimonies demand that we place value on these scholars' intellectual labor, untapped potential, and humanity. It also illuminates the ways past liberal feminist "victories" within academia have yet to become accessible to all women. Informed by the work of scholars and labor activists who have interrogated the various forms of inequity produced and reproduced by institutions of higher education under neoliberalism, Lean Semesters serves as a timely and accessible call to action.

About the Author

Sekile M. Nzinga (OAK PARK, IL) is the director of the Women's Center and a lecturer in gender and sexuality studies at Northwestern University. She is the editor of Laboring Positions: Black Women, Mothering and the Academy.

Endorsementss

"Deepening the current academic and activist conversations on the neoliberal university by bringing an intersectional woman-of-color critique to critical university studies, feminist analyses of higher education, and research on the academic lives of women of color in higher education, this astute book is the first to offer a detailed, layered, and specific understanding of Black academic women's position in the restructured university. Dr. Nzinga shows that Black women are 'contingent' even before they enter the university. Her project delineates the hypocrisy of the corporate university model that espouses inclusiveness on the one hand while exploiting Black women at every rank on the other. Overall, Lean Semesters offers a complex understanding of how the political economy of the university actually works, making this book a theoretical and activist game changer. It will alter the field and move it forward."

- Katie Hogan, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, coeditor of Over Ten Million Served: Gendered Service in Language and Literature Workplaces

"This original and necessary book maps the lived impact of neoliberalism and names the opaque ways in which the market practices of contemporary higher education institutions are compounding inequity for Black women in the twenty-first century. Readers will find themselves traveling the invisible trails and listening to the hushed conversations that Nzinga and her colleagues have had to follow on this unpublished map. Lean Semesters will stay with me forever."

- Caprice Lawless, Front Range Community College

9781421438764 : lean-semesters-nzinga
Hardback
October 13, 2020
$27.95 USD
9781421438771 : lean-semesters-nzinga
Electronic book text
October 13, 2020
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